[caption id="attachment_11505" align="alignleft" width="200"]Doesn't this look fun?! Doesn't this look fun?![/caption]

Point: Tips for beautiful skin!

"For most of us, the most common and unfortunate side effect of skin problems is isolation. We don't want to be seen the way we look. You can hide a lot of physical flaws, but not acne. It's right there, on the first thing people notice about us - our face. And it's hard for some of us to imagine that people can see the face - the PERSON - behind the acne.”  - Yancy LaelGlowing: Soulful Skincare
  1. Cleanse your skin gently every day, and never leave makeup on overnight.
  2. Use sunscreen, and then reapply sunscreen every few hours.
  3. Use a retinoid cream every night.
  4. Eat salmon and lots of foods that contain antioxidants.
  5. Exercise regularly.
  6. Get at least seven hours of sleep every day.
  7. Don't smoke at all.
  8. Don't drink excessively (though a glass of wine every day is good for you).
  9. Avoid stressful situations and people.
  10. Don't eat fried food.
  11. Wash your hair every day. If you must miss a day of hair washing, wear your hair in a pony tail to keep the oils off your face.
  12. Use antibacterial wipes on your phone to avoid spreading bacteria around your face.
  13. Drink lots of water -- at least 8 glasses every day.
  14. Use moisturizer every day.
  15. Carry oil blotting sheets to manage oil throughout the day.
  16. Don't use your hand towel as your face towel, since your hands have different bacteria than your face.
  17. Never pick at acne or scars.
  18. Limit the amount of dairy products you consume.
  19. Caffeine can cause acne, so cut back on coffee.
  20. Don't stay in a hot shower for too long, since it can dry out your skin.
(pilfered from a variety of legitimate sources)

Counterpoint: Oh, screw that.

[caption id="attachment_11507" align="alignright" width="341"]This is really me and Hunter S. Thompson! This is really me and Hunter S. Thompson in 2004![/caption]
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a Ride!'" ― Hunter S. Thompson "I just don't want to die without a few scars, I say. It's nothing anymore to have a beautiful stock body. You see those cars that are completely stock cherry, right out of a dealer's showroom in 1955, I always think, what a waste." - Chuck PalahniukFight Club
Lots of the articles I read growing up focused on doing whatever I could to keep my skin looking exactly as it did when I was 14. I tried. I really, really tried. But mango poultices, gallons of water, and hours of sleep aren't nearly as fun as drinking whiskey in the sun, smoking, and staying out late, and then sleeping in my makeup... which I have been doing for the past 20ish years. And you know what? It's ok. I actually am totally ok with how I look. I have no complaints with my wrinkles, my skin spots, or even my falling cheeks. I know I look my age, and that's really fine with me. I'm almost 40. Many women (and men) panic as they approach this somehow magically horrifying age, but every decade has been exponentially better than the previous one, so 40 is going to FRICKEN' RULE. [caption id="attachment_11508" align="alignright" width="225"]10 years later, 2014. 10 years later, 2014. Yes, I still get hormonal acne on one place on my chin. No matter what I do, it's always still in that one spot. (you can see it in the 2004 photo too)[/caption] The years of laughter have done more to improve my appearance than any focused efforts in any direction. The only thing that really made me look not-like-myself was when I put on 30 pounds... and I've lost 16 of those pounds in the past few months. Not because I don't like how I look, just because my knees don't like carrying around that extra weight, and I'd rather be out hiking than too tired to get up a hill. So... to those of you who want to maintain your youthful glow, stay away from meth. But other than that, fill your life with good friends who make you laugh, lots of adventure, and a firm belief that a life fully lived is better than a blank canvas face. There a couple things that I do regularly: use lotion from SongCroft (must have), wash my face every morning (I use our soap most days, but sometimes trade off for another bar a fellow soapmaker gave me), and drink water. Sometimes I don't even remember to drink enough water.

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